gene otani in tokyo. diplomats say they are seeing their internet connection come and go. people across north korea had suffered a net blackout. officials there and in washington were engaged in a dispute over a cyber attack against a hollywood studio. u.s. media outlets say links went down monday. staff at the embassy say they
lost connection, gained it and lost it again. they say they can't get online and don't know why. staff at a u.s. cyber security firm gave their analysis. they say the methods used to take north korea offline are typical the work of an international hacking organization. north koreans began having internet trouble on friday. u.s. president barack obama had just vowed to take action against their country because of a cyber attack. officials in washington blamed north korea for hacking into sony pictures. the hacking attack is raising concerns at the united nations.
>> they should work closely to prevent this kind of cyber attack. >> u.s. ambassador samantha power was more critical. >> the attackers threatened sony's employees, actors in the film, movie theater and people who dare to go to the theater. >> power condemned leaders for denying freedom of expression to their own people. north korea's u.n. representative did not comment. members of the u.n. security council have had discussions on a topic they have never debated before. they spoke about human rights abuses in north korea. it's the first time the council had held formal talks on the issue. representatives from china and russia had voted against the move.
the u.n.'s official for human rights spoke about abuses and described systematic torture and public executions. the united states ambassador called for action. >> today's session is another important step but far from the last towards accountability for the crimes. >> china's ambassador says the discussion was misguided. >> translator: the u.n. security council is the place for debating peace and security. each u.n. body has its role and this council is not the place to deal with human rights issues. >> council members are expected to continue the debate but china and russia are likely to veto any attempt to adopt a resolution or take any other action. authorities in china have launched an investigation into a man who once had the ear of the
country's most powerful man. he was a close aid of former president tao. the state run news agency says the communist party is investigating ling who serves as vice chairman of the national committee. ling had a long career with the communist youth league. the organization produced many senior politicians loyal to hu jintao. hong kong media have reported that ling asked a then member of the politburo standing committee to help cover up a story. they say he wanted to hide news that his son had died after crashing a luxury sports car. he was expelled from the party earlier this month for corruption. president xi jinping has been waging an anti-corruption campaign that reached the upper echelons of chinese politics.
the governor of the bank of japan is on a mission. nhk world spoke with him about his policy and the outlook for the economy. >> reporter: he became governor at the bank in march last year. previously he was vice minister for international affairs at japan's finance ministry and governor of the asian development bank. we asked him to give us his take on the state of the economy right now. >> actually, the recent boj survey showed very strong
corporate sector, business sentiment as well as for the current fiscal year. they would increase investment and they expect a continued good profit situation. and at the same time the household sector experiences continued increase of employment and continued increase of wages. so i think most of the economic indicators show that the japanese economy would recover because of underlying trend of mild, modest recovery. >> the yen keeps weakening against the dollar. what is your assessment of the
positive and negative effects of the weaker yen on the japanese economy? what about such scenario where the yen becomes even weaker? >> depending on sectors or the scale of economic activities and so on and so forth, the impact of yen depreciation may be diverse in the short term, but if yen depreciation or whatever kind of exchange rate movement is based on economic fundamentals basically i think it would not create any problem. >> in october policymakers at the central bank surprised everyone by expanding the scale
of their monetary easing. they say they [ inaudible ] that's because weak spending had persisted after the increase in the consumption tax and because falling crude prices threatened to weigh down prices. crude oil prices continue to slide. if this trend continues and there is a risk that the transmission function of the quantitative and qualitative easing is weakened will the central bank make another adjustment? >> in the short round substantially oil prices will continue to exert downward pressure on consumer price inflation. that is true. eventually in the medium to long run decreased oil prices would
raise inflation rate, consumer inflation rates. so although when we decided to expand our qqe at the end of october we are concerned about weak recovery of consumption, weak recovery of production and also possibly negative impact on prices of continued oil price decline. after that inflation expectations generally speaking are maintained and the market responded very positively. so i do think that oil price
decline is basically beneficial to the japanese economy. >> the government's decision to postpone the consumption tax hike has in effect delayed the process of fiscal consolidation. if long term interest rates rise because of deteriorating public finances will that under cut your efforts? >> the government continues to stick to the medium term fiscal plan to achieve the primary surplus by fiscal 2020 and also the government declared that concrete measures to achieve the 2020 target would be fleshed out
by next summer. i think that is very clear to fiscal consolidation. i do not expect any serious impact on prices. but i would like to emphasize that the government is well advised to stick to the [ inaudible ] and to achieve the primary surplus by fiscal 2020. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. officials at russia's central bank are taking an
unprecedented step to support their country's financial system. they are bailing out a retail bank whose customers had been pulling out their money because of the plunge in the ruble. officials in moscow said they would give about $530 mill krn. they are putting the business understate control. representatives say they are looking for an organization to take them over. russians are responding to the fallen ruble by exchanging their money for dollars and euros. the bank bailout is the first since the currency crisis began. officials a o. judicial authorities in spain have indicted a member of the royal family. they ordered princess christina to stand trial on charges of tax fraud. authorities on monday announced
the indictment of christina and 16 other people. they suspect the princess of tax evasion involving a company she jointly operated with her husband. they charged the husband with embezzling public funds and suspect the family followed money. the princess says she is innocent. members of the royal family say they respect the independence of the courts. many people in spain are unhappy with the monarchy as they struggle with government-imposed austerity measures. u.s.-led combat troops will end their mission in afghanistan. security duties in the country will pass to the afghan military and police. but with the --
hostilities on the increase there is concern. >> reporter: in the southern province fighting between government troops and the taliban has been intensifying. since the pullout of troops there has been an uphill battle. many of the new recruits joined up to escape poverty. they were sent into battle with minimal training. soldiers injured during combat were thrown into a military hospital one after another.
>> translator: a bomb exploded when we were on patrol. >> translator: we are removing the shrapnel from the soldiers' bodies. >> reporter: taliban insurgents are regaining power. local people are frustrated with the slow pace of national reconstruction. the militants funds come from trafficking opium. we spoke to taliban members. the taliban once had little influence there but its strength is now growing. many of the members say they joined only recently. one is a former member of security forces. >> translator: this is my police i.d. >> reporter: this man was a
police officer until about six months ago. the taliban's strength convinced him to join the insurgents for his own safety. >> translator: the taliban was very strong, but the government didn't provide us with suitable weapons to fight them. >> reporter: the taliban's advances are also effecting global aid for afghan reconstruction. japanese aid has financed the building of schools, roads and other infrastructure. but the local security situation worsened after international troops with drew last year. the building of a clinic was suspended after the construction firm in charge of it fled. >> translator: security was good when the u.s.-led troops were here. i miss the time when the clinic was being built.
>> reporter: afghanistan is still far from the self-reliant and stable country that people were hoping for. it still has a long way to go before it can achieve the national reconstruction that global aid dollars want to see. nhk world, kabul. an explosion has ripped through a bus station in northeastern nigeria. at least 15 people have been killed. 21 others have been wounded. the explosion occurred on the outskirts of gombe city. the bus station was reportedly crowded at the time of the blast. authorities suspect the islamist militant group boko haram was responsible. gunmen thought to be members of boko haram raided a village in northeastern nigeria earlier this month. they killed more than 30 people and kidnapped over 100. an international research group that monitors the movement of refugees says about 1.5 million nigerians have fled their homes and moved to other parts of the
country to escape boko haram's attacks. around 150,000 people have crossed the borders into niger or chad. people in japan's ancient capital have a long history of growing plants used in traditional herbal medicine. now the local government is trying to revitalize the industry by branding the locally grown herbs. nhk world reports. >> reporter: this herb is associated with the prefecture where it is harvested.
at this center work is underway to develop effective ways of raising seedlings. it normally takes two years for the herb to be ready to harvest. but researchers have found a way to cut that time by nine months. they raise seedlings in high temperature greenhouses. >> translator: it's difficult to grow the herb in a way that produces consistent medicinal properties. our biggest challenge is finding a way to solve this problem through our cultivation methods. >> reporter: it was once the capital of japan in ancient times. the temple was built here in the eighth century. it served as a depository for medicines from all over asia.
today the herbal bath set to be effective against fatigue. it is still a center of medicine with 74 pharmaceutical companies. but the area of land used to grow medicinal aides is one-third what it was 15 years ago. farmers are aging and there has been an influx of inexpensive herbs from china. the prefecture government is taking the program seriously. two years ago it established a team to revive the industry. he is the leader. >> translator: we want to create quality products so the prefecture launched this project with the goal of reviving the industry.
we work on every stage of the process from the cultivation of the herbs to the creation of the finished products. >> reporter: the team is diversifying the way herbs are used. this italian restaurant agreed to take part. the chef uses the leaves of the herbs which are normally discarded after the roots have been used to make medicine. it produces a taste that is slightly different from european herbs. >> translator: our customers have never tasted anything like this before but they say it is delicious and has a refreshing taste. >> reporter: locally grown herbs are also being used in cosmettic products. the words made in nara are displayed on the label in the hope of branding herbs from the
prefecture. some farms are nurturing young farmers so the project can continue with the next generation. he has been cultivating herbs for six years. >> translator: these plants have been grown in nara have a very long time. i would like to gradually increase our production and then bring the movement to many other parts of the prefecture. >> reporter: the public and private sectors are cooperating to restore nara's reputation as a home of traditional herbal medicine. the ancient capital of japan is hoping this new business model will pay off. nhk world, nara. drier weather will continue for japan after sunny conditions provided a nice holiday.
our meteorologist jonathan oh has the details. >> we are definitely seeing some improvement over japan especially for northern japan which has seen a lot of snowy and windy weather. i think by wednesday the entire country will see pleasant weather. it was sunny in tokyo. we have high pressure located near china. and i think we are going to see nice conditions continue as we go through the week because there are not other developing factors that change the weather pattern. the low pressure system brought some of that. now that will be departing and there should be an improvement as we go through wednesday. down towards the south we continue to watch the tropical pattern of seeing some of the showers from time to time. manila a high of 30 on wednesday. you may see a few sprinkles
during the afternoon. otherwise partly cloudy skies there. 22 in taipei. 5 degrees in beijing. up to 14 in tokyo on wednesday. as we go to europe we have very different weather patterns happening. notice clear skies towards the south. towards the north lots of clouds. we continue to see various areas of low pressure rolling over the continent. we are seeing snow. here is a picture out of norway on sunday. you can see the very winter picture taking place. as we go to finland for monday also seeing the snowfall in place. i think the snowfall will still continue. because we have one low that is departing from the area and another low over the northern atlantic that will push eastward which means more moisture will be in the picture. starting off with windy conditions for the united kingdom and ireland and moving to the northern portions of europe including places like
germany and into poland. way down towards the south sunny skies will be in place for tuesday and warm temperatures, 15 in athens, 12 in vienna. topping off at 12 degrees and wet weather extending again for tuesday. now, as we look at the forecast for north america we are looking at a potential travel mess as we go through the christmas holiday week. the reason why is we have a low pressure system over the great lakes. that's tapping into cold air and producing some snowfall and the chance of heavy snow is possible. down towards the deep south we have a low pressure system causing great levels of stability to where we have a risk for severe thunderstorms as we go into tuesday especially for areas shaded in the dark orange. western portions of florida into alabama and mississippi looking at the possibility of seeing heavy down pours, strong winds
and so it is going to be a little nasty there. towards the great lakes we see the possibility of some snow. as we go through the week. deep south will see improvement when it comes to the forecast. wet and stormy for tuesday but christmas eve will start to see clearing and then sunny skies for christmas day with temperatures getting a little bit warmer. now, for the rest of the country wet weather for vancouver and seattle. dry for central portions. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here is your extended outlook.